An easy way to make snow in photoshop

This tutorial was made with photoshop 7, but should work for photoshop 6.x to.

A little example on how this effect can be used.

This tutorial will show you an easy way to make snow in photoshop. It's based 100% on filters, which means that you don't have to paint anything. Very nice if you don't want to do it the old fashioned way... with a custom brush.

Start photoshop and make a new document [ctrl+n] or open the image that you want to apply the snow to. For this tutorial I've set the document size to 500x650 pixels, but in this case, size doesn't matter.

!!Skip the text below if you didn't start a new document, but decided to work on a image.!!
Fill the background layer with black by first pressing [D] to set the foreground and background color to their default state.. black and white, and then pressing [alt-backslash] to fill the current layer with the foreground color. You could have pressed [ctrl-backslash] if you wanted to fill with the background color. So, now we have a solid black layer.

2. Now, make a new layer [alt-ctrl-shift-N] and fill it with white. [D] to set default colors for background foreground, and then [ctrl-backslash] to fill the new layer with white (background color). Apply a [filter/noise/add noise] filter to the new layer, and set the filter settings so that they match mine.. or until you get something that you like.

Press [ok] and continue to the next step.

3. Okay, so what we have now is a messy looking layer. The next thing you need to do, is to apply a [filters/artistic/cutout] filter and copy my settings from the image below.

Press [ok].

Now we have something that looks a little like snowflakes.. not much, but it'll be better soon!

4. Now, to make the snowflakes white, press [alt-I] to invert the colors. Then go to [image/adjustments/brightness contrast] and set the contrast as high as possible = 100.

5. What we need to do now, is to get rid of the black color. This is very easy. Select the magic wand tool [W] and set tolerance to 0, antialiased off and contiguous off. Press somewhere in the black color and press [backslash]. Press [ctrl-D] to deselect. Now the black in the snow layer is gone. Off course you wont be able to see this with the black background layer.. but if you want you can always select another color and fill the background layer with it.

6. This step is optional, but I think it makes the snow look better. Add some motion blur to it! [filters/blur/motion blur] Play around with the settings until you find something that you like.

12. That's it for now.. if you need more snow, just duplicate the layer, or transform the effect until you get a result that you can use.